Tonight’s Horsham Cup Heats Preview

The next great Group greyhound series of the season gets underway tonight as the heats for the Group 2 Exchange Hotel Horsham Cup (480m) are set to light-up the race card at Horsham in Victoria.

Seven heats will be run in anticipation of next week’s $28, 000 to-the-winner final with Graeme Bate, who became the first Victorian greyhound racing Hall of Fame inductee, going for his ninth Horsham Cup victory.

Bate has six of his star sprinters lining up in the heats tonight – Erocle Bale (Heat 2, Box 4), Cooper Bale (Heat 3, Box 4), Coco Bale (Heat 4, Box 3), Admiral Bale (Heat 5, Box 1), Taipan Bale (Heat 6, Box 6) and Amakler Girl (Heat 7, Box 4).

Velocette took out the Horsham Cup last year for Bate, and his other successes came with Timjim Bale (200), Kantarn Bale (2000), Lansley Bale (1998), Hay Dinney (1988), Propellant (1984), Virgo Rose (1983) and Satan’s Shroud (1982).

Heat 1 – Race 2 – 7:08pm

The opening Horsham Cup heat of the night is headlined by the brilliant Group race winner Birthday Boy drawn in seven. The Stephen Elsum-trained son of Where’s Pedro has an impressive record wearing the black rug, having won seven and placed in three of his 13 starts from box seven.

Birthday Boy will start as the odds-on favourite and will face off against the in-form Reekay Rip drawn ideally on the rails. Reekay Rip has displayed blistering form at the track lately and has won three of his past four starts including a brilliant 24.34sec win here last-start.

Other speedy dogs to watch include the Andrea Dailly-trained Dyna Obelia in box three, last-start winner Where’s Fly drawn ideally in box two and the super consistent Our Toyman who will be a big threat if they can get a clear run from their awkward box five draw.

Heat 2 – Race 3 – 7:28pm

The second heat of the night will be another close affair with Darren McDonald’s sensational sprinter Gardam Prince due to start as the favourite despite drawing box six – a box the son of Black Enforcer has only a 50% strike rate from. But the recent Group 2 Launceston Cup winner has the speed, ability and brilliant recent form (winning his past four races in succession) to lead all the way here.

A dog that may cause an upset and chase down Gardam Prince tonight is the speedy last-start Sandown Park winner Papa Cool in box two and Viva Las Vegas on the fence in box eight looks well positioned for a place.

Heat 3 – Race 4 – 7:49pm

The third Horsham Cup heat features one of the best line-ups of the night, with the likes of Atomic Voodoo, Cooper Bale, Enry Walt, Hot Price and Allen Zander all looking for the qualifying win.

Hot Price will jump as the odds-on favourite from seven, is known for his swift starts and will be hard to catch if his rivals miss the start.

Starting wide on the outside of Hot Price from box eight is the Andrea Dailly-trained Allen Zander coming off a last-start win at The Meadows. Despite not having won wearing the pink before, the son of boom sire Surf Lorian is still in for a chance tonight.

Atomic Voodoo has drawn ideally in box two and Garry Ennis’ improving chaser Enry Walt should not be discounted in box five.

Heat 4 – Race 5 – 8:09pm

Leading the way in the fourth heat of the night is another star from the kennel of Anakie trainer Andrea Dailly, Cohen Bale in box six. The lightly raced son of Big Daddy Cool is having just his eight career start and looks a solid chance to secure his sixth win coming from a smart 29.92 last start win at Sandown Park.

Other consistent and speedy dogs that may get in Cohen Bale’s way are Same As Best (box 7), Darren McDonald’s Cosmic Rumble (box 4) and Zambre Arandt in box two who loves this trip having won three from four.

Heat 5 – Race 6 – 8:28pm

Another impressive Group race winner features in the fifth heat, last-start Group 3 Launching Pad champion Arsonist. The promising Heather Collins-trained bitch defeated a classy field in the feature at Sandown Park and looks well positioned to continue her unbeaten record of four wins.

Drawn on the rails is one from the Graeme Bate contingent, Admiral Bale, who may be the dog to put an end to Arsonist’s perfect winning streak. Also keep an eye on Boozeroo in box six.

Heat 6 – Race 7 – 8:48pm

The second last heat of the night will see another of Bate’s dogs start as the favourite when his quality sprinter Taipan Bale jumps from box six. The black and white son of Solve The Puzzle has a good record wearing the green rug having won four and placed in one of his seven starts from box six. He has also displayed excellent recent form winning three, placing second twice and third once in his last six starts.

Other hot chances include Allen Chang on the inside of Taipan Bale in five and the speedy starter Shredded Cheese in box four.

Heat 7 – Race 8 – 9:08pm

The final heat of the night features a terrific field of hopefuls including last start runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Cup Galba Jack in box seven. The John Macdonald-trained son of Collide will be the one to beat if he jumps well here.

Dogs that have the pace to catch Galba Jack if he does get away early include Arvo’s Chill on the rails, and the two of Andrea Dailly’s heat seven starters, the classy Sydnie Allen in box three and Livio Bale in six.